Despite the bold promise of Internet video, the reality is that your couch is much more comfortable than your computer desk. But there’s that old “last mile” problem—how to get the movies and other video content from the Net to your TV. Netflix has offered video streaming for well over a year, but the MPAA’s insistence on DRM-protecting the content delivered to paying customers, and Apple’s refusal to license its Mac DRM solution (while scofflaws continue to download things for free) has kept Mac users shut out. Roku has mostly solved both of these problems, with its new Netflix Player, a set-top box that brings Netflix’s streaming content directly to your TV.
Yesterday was the first day of E3 in Los Angeles and the annual convention has already generated plenty of buzz within the gaming community (Final Fantasy 13… anybody?). But there’s some news that may affect Apple’s current hold on the digital media market: Microsoft announced that Netflix will offer online streaming for the Xbox 360, available this Fall. What does this mean for Apple? Find out after the jump.
I’ve been living with the Roku Netflix Player for a couple weeks now. The elevator pitch is that the Player lets you stream Netflix’s Watch Instantly content straight to your TV. Look for a full review in the September issue of Mac|Life, but for now, here are some Things That Rule and Things That Suck about the much-anticipated Netflix set-top box.